Articles Tagged with truck accidents

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Truck Accident Lawyers in Chicago

Large commercial trucks can cause severe damage and injuries when they crash. One particularly dangerous type of crash is called a “jackknife” accident. A jackknife occurs when the large trailer of the truck swings out into adjacent lanes, becoming perpendicular to the truck and folding like a knife does. If any vehicles or pedestrians are in the path of the trailer, they can be crushed, causing catastrophic damage and injuries. In addition, a jackknifed trailer often causes the driver to lose complete control of the truck, which can result in a rollover or chain-reaction crash.

Because of the serious results of a jackknife, it is important to know who can be held liable for your injuries. In order to identify the responsible party, you should be aware of the common causes of jackknife accidents, some of which are explained below.

Driver Error

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Everyone with a driver’s license should be fully aware of the extreme dangers of drunk or drugged driving. This is particularly true for commercial drivers, who have to go through extra training and are held to a higher standard for impaired driving because of the risks of their giant vehicles.

Commercial drivers have a legal limit of 0.04 percent blood-alcohol content (BAC), compared to the legal limit of 0.08 percent for other drivers. In addition, these drivers must undergo random drug and alcohol tests by their employers as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These higher standards and heightened requirements exist because of the catastrophic damage and injuries that an impaired truck driver could cause in the event of a crash.

Holding Impaired Truck Drivers Accountable

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Truck Accident Lawyers in Chicago

According to a report published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA),1 truck driver error is the cause of the majority of truck accidents that occur. You may assume, then, that truck drivers are the parties who are held liable for any losses incurred by truck accident victims. However, truck accident cases can be more complex than regular car accident claims and, in most situations, the trucking company can also be held liable for a victim’s losses.

Liability for Employees

There is a legal doctrine called respondeat superior2 that holds employers liable for the negligence of their employees while on the job. If a truck driver is on the clock when they negligently cause a crash, victims generally may file a claim against both the driver and the trucking company that employs the driver. This is important because trucking companies can have significantly greater assets than individual drivers and are required to have sizeable insurance policies, so the chances of having extensive losses covered can be increased.

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Fatigued driving among commercial truck drivers can cause serious and even fatal accidents. In June, 2014 it was a driver who fell asleep at the wheel that crashed into comedian Tracy Morgan’s limo, causing him to suffer a severe traumatic brain injury and killing his longtime friend. Fatigued driving is often associated with the long hours that a truck driver spends on the road, a risk that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) seeks to mitigate by enforcing strict regulations requiring rest breaks.1 However, recently, a newly researched cause of fatigued driving has become a concern in the trucking industry.

How Sleep Apnea Causes Fatigue


About 22 million people in the U.S. live with sleep apnea, a condition that disrupts a person’s breathing possibly hundreds of times per night. To resume breathing, the body will wake itself up for a brief moment – also possibly hundreds of times per night. This presents not only respiratory risks during the night, but also results in serious fatigue throughout the day. Fatigue can cause a lack of concentration, impairment in judgment, and slower reflexes, much like alcohol impairment.